February 5, 2007

Statement of Sheldon Whitehouse on the Release of the President’s FY08 Budget Request

Whitehouse Calls Bush Budget "Unrealistic, Irresponsible, and Unfair"

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today issued the following statement on President Bush’s FY2008 budget request:

“The President’s budget is unrealistic in its projections, irresponsible in its policymaking, and unfair in its effect on working families. President Bush demands hundreds of billions of dollars to finance an Iraq strategy his own military commanders have questioned, and his record defense budget requests offer no end in sight to his misguided policies abroad.

“At home, beneath the rhetoric of fiscal discipline and hard choices lies a troubling reality, where working families shoulder the greatest burdens and are asked for the highest sacrifice. The Bush budget slashes funding for federal programs that help middle-class Americans afford health care, home heating oil, a college education, and food for their families, all to pay for massive tax giveaways to the wealthiest that deepen the deficit their enactment created.

“The President’s plan demands higher out-of-pocket health care payments from military retirees, veterans, and Medicare beneficiaries, and significant cuts in funding for critical health care initiatives like Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will put many low-income families in Rhode Island at risk of losing their health insurance.

“While the Bush budget proposes increasing the maximum Pell Grant award, it would completely eliminate the federal Perkins loan and federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants for higher education. And with an overall 17.5 percent cut in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Rhode Island’s share would likely drop $5.6 million from fiscal year 2006 levels. “This President’s budget demands close scrutiny and tough questions. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Budget Committee and in the Senate as a whole to address our real priorities and put the country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.”


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921